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Open AccessArticle

Comparative Transcriptome Analysis Identifying the Different Molecular Genetic Markers Related to Production Performance and Meat Quality in Longissimus Dorsi Tissues of MG × STH and STH Sheep

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College of Animal Science and Technology, Gansu Agricultural University, Lanzhou 730070, China
2
College of Veterinary Medicine, Gansu Agricultural University, Lanzhou 730070, China
3
College of Life Science and Biotechnology, Gansu Agricultural University, Lanzhou 730070, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Genes 2020, 11(2), 183; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11020183
Received: 27 December 2019 / Revised: 5 February 2020 / Accepted: 7 February 2020 / Published: 10 February 2020
Crossbred sheep have many prominent traits, such as excellent production performance and high-quality meat, when compared to local sheep breeds. However, the genetic molecular markers related to these characteristics remain unclear. The crossbred MG × STH (small-tailed Han sheep (STH) × Mongolian sheep (MG)) breed and the STH breed were selected to measure production performance and meat quality. We used 14 indexes of production performance and meat quality, which in the MG × STH population showed significant differences compared to the STH breed. Subsequently, the longissimus dorsi from the two sheep were subjected to comparative transcriptomic analyses to identify differentially expressed genes (DEGs) related to production performance and meat quality. A total of 874 DEGs were identified between the two sheep groups. A total of 110 unique DEGs related to sheep production performance and meat quality were selected as the candidate DEGs. We found 6 production-performance-related and 30 meat-quality-related DEGs through a correlation analysis, including SPARC, ACVRL1, FNDC5 and FREM1. The expression levels of 11 DEGs were validated by real-time PCR, and the results were in accordance with the results of the comparative transcriptomic and correlation analyses. These results will assist in understanding sheep heterosis and molecular marker-assisted selection.
Keywords: crossbred; genetics; meat quality; production performance; Ovis aries; transcriptome crossbred; genetics; meat quality; production performance; Ovis aries; transcriptome
MDPI and ACS Style

Cheng, S.; Wang, X.; Zhang, Q.; He, Y.; Zhang, X.; Yang, L.; Shi, J. Comparative Transcriptome Analysis Identifying the Different Molecular Genetic Markers Related to Production Performance and Meat Quality in Longissimus Dorsi Tissues of MG × STH and STH Sheep. Genes 2020, 11, 183.

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